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Enjoying a summer job at the 102nd

Rylan Richard, 16, prepares to trim the curb side grass outside Building 158 as a Pavement and Grounds summer hire. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Kerri Cole)

Rylan Richard, 16, prepares to trim the curb side grass outside Building 158 as a Pavement and Grounds summer hire. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Kerri Cole)

OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- The Title V Student Temporary Employment Program, also known as STEP, is an opportunity for high school and college students to experience a summer job like no other. While other students may just "kick back" during the summer, STEP employees are given the opportunity to work beside Massachusetts Air National Guardsmen. Whether it's a position as an office aide or general laborer, the students perform their jobs in this unique and diverse environment.

"STEP employees gain marketable skills and earn money while enjoying their summer vacation, as well as get an introduction into what our Intelligence Wing is all about," said Kimberly Scudder, 102nd Intelligence Wing director of civilian personnel. 

The STEP employees are thoroughly briefed on their job as well as the overall purpose and management of the Intelligence Wing. 

Rylan Richard, 16, son of Lt. Col. Martin Richard, 102nd Air Operations Group, was part of the Pavement and Grounds team for the first time this summer. He says about his experience, "You just can't beat it: the pay, being outdoors all the time and also being able to support the troops in any way, even if it is just cutting the grass, has been an invaluable experience for me." Rylan is entering his junior year at Pope John Paul II High School in Hyannis. 

Derek Goulet, who also worked with Pavement and Grounds for the first time this year, said, "It's better than sitting around all summer not getting paid. I also appreciate the opportunity; even summer jobs were hard to find this year." Derek heard about the STEP program from his uncle, Jeff Risley, 102nd Civil Engineer Squadron. 

Rylan and Derek's supervisor, Bill Ringwood, said in appreciation, "They've been a tremendous help. There's a lot of ground to cover here and I don't know what I would have done without them." 

This year the 102nd Intelligence Wing hired eight students; seven worked as laborers and one worked as an administrative clerk. Overall the students have greatly enjoyed their work experience here and look forward to coming back again.